How to divorce your Delta / Lyft App permissions (are the SkyMiles worth the data tracking)?

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How to revoke Delta data collection

A few years back at a private BoardingArea and Delta event before the Freddie Awards in Atlanta I spoke to a number of folks in SkyMiles. They were asking about ride sharing services and Delta. At the time I was suggesting UBER really was the way to go because of the worldwide reach. Clearly they decided to go with LYFT instead. One reason may be UBER was not willing to work with Delta in the way that benefits them the most.

I tend to use UBER for most rides. Outside all the current corporate mess, I like the service itself and, save a few rare examples, have had great ride after great ride. Plus, I really like earning very valuable AMEX Membership rewards points as well as the chance to earn bonus SPG points. Both of these travel currency points yield high returns and when I am thinking about hailing a ride they do come into play i.e. they motivate my behavior.

For those who use LYFT the partnership with Delta SkyMiles (that only expire when you do) may seem like a no-brainer. But always know anything Delta does normally benefits Delta the most. Notice what a piece on SeekingAlpha summarized:

“No previous partnership has allowed an airline to come as close as this to figuring out when their own customers choose to fly on their competitors. The fact that the introductory SkyMiles earning rate for trips to and from airports is 3x any other rides (at least until the end of this summer) signals the importance of these rides to Delta in building up a picture of its customers’ behavior and using the rich data it collects to strike at its competitors.” – SeekingAlhpa.com

If you have not looked over the story you should and it may have a chilling effect on you (or not in this ‘track everything’ world we live in). It bothered me enough to un-link my account between Delta and Lyft.

Beyond the data sharing it really comes down to value for me. I always say you should take SkyMiles when they are “free” but not work to collect them as there are so many other travel points that have much higher value.

If you never linked your Delta and Lyft accounts you can do that HERE. However if you are bothered by the T&C and data mining from Delta you can, as you see in the screen shots above, divorce yourself or “revoke” access between the two HERE.

Other Lyft earning partners

While you are choosing if you want to change the permissions you may consider going the other way (if you are happy sharing data with Shell or Jet Blue that is) and earn these program points in combination with your Lyft rides.

Weekends are fun for musing about points so you tell me – does company data collection bother you enough to opt-out of some earnings? Vote in my poll below! – René

Does Delta data mining bother you enough to revoke app access

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5 comments

  1. Maybe they need to see what they are doing is causing people to shift to other alternatives. “lets make a small change to Skymiles and see how many bail”. Maybe you should only use Lyft when you are traveling on another carrier.

  2. I love the idea of them studying where I’m flying on other carriers and why. I hadn’t even considered that, but I am primarily using Lyft in places where I haven’t flown DL. Good for them. Hope they’ll put this to good use and make it more affordable to stick with them.

  3. @Rosskoh – I use UBER for the service it provides AND the more valuable bonus points is provide (as shown in post).

  4. René,

    Thanks for writing about my article on Seeking Alpha. I was interested to hear it made you reconsider using the linked Lyft/Delta partnership.

    @Carl: You certainly sound enthusiastic about sharing your data: I wonder how many people agree with you?

    @Scott: Do you mean that you think if SkyMiles members who linked their Lyft app only used Lyft when traveling on other airlines it would give Delta the impression that they rarely traveled on Delta?

    I’d be interested to hear people’s comments in the discussion on Seeking Alpha here: http://bit.ly/2sT1MqW
    — Did you sign up to Lyft, or start using it more often, because of the Delta partnership?
    — Have you changed your mind after thinking about the extent of potential data sharing and data mining?

    Adam Jackson

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